On 16 November 2017 WILPF Cameroon proudly participated at the official publication of Cameroon’s National Action Plan (NAP) on UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325. WILPF Cameroon has been a key contributor to the process and now hopes that the implementation will substantively increase women’s participation in peace processes in Cameroon.
by Guy Dongmo Feugap, communicator of WILPF Cameroon
Established officially on 31 January 2014, WILPF Cameroon made the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) its priority, with the mission to advocate for a national action plan (NAP), in order to implement the Women, Peace and Security Agenda according to the recommendations of that Resolution.
WILPF Cameroon’s first actions in this direction were the training of its members and other civil society leaders to ensure outreach and more effective advocacy. The first high-level discussion in Cameroon on the issue was held from 9 to 10 October 2014 in Yaoundé, during the “Regional workshop on women’s participation in conflict prevention and crisis management”, in partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family and UN Women. It was about mobilising all stakeholders in the process of developing a National Action Plan of UNSCR 1325 and advocating for its adoption by the Government of Cameroon. This workshop was followed by a retreat organised by UN Women in partnership with WILPF Cameroon, to consolidate the outcomes of the regional workshop. The organisation Servitas Cameroon, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, the Ministry of Defence and UNHCR took part at the retreat.
In October 2014, the participation of WILPF Cameroon at the 14th anniversary of the UNSCR 1325 in New York, including a panel on Boko Haram, gave the opportunity to show the urgent need of this resolution in Cameroon. During this period, WILPF Cameroon conducted a survey in the East of Cameroon to find out the degree of knowledge and the level of implementation of UNSCR 1325. This was followed by the establishment of a Media/Civil Society consultation framework for effective implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Cameroon.
The calendar of activities to achieve the NAP was elaborated after WILPF Africa regional workshop on the participation of women in conflict prevention and crisis management. The workshop was organised in Yaoundé from 27 to 28 November 2015, by WILPF Cameroon with the support of Folke Bernadotte Akademy through WILPF Sweden and under the patronage of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family.
The launch of the process of elaboration of UNSCR 1325 NAP in Cameroon took place on 15 November 2016. Key ministries, international organisations, embassies, and civil society organisations attended the launch. Prior to that, WILPF Cameroon was entrusted to conduct a baseline study at national level on the assessment of the level of knowledge of UNSCR 1325 and the impact of armed conflicts on women and girls in Cameroon, in order to draw priority areas of the NAP. The restitution workshop was held on 9 February 2017.The study was conducted under the overall coordination of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family, the technical supervision of UN Women and with the financial support of the United Office in Central Africa (UNOCA) and the Sweden Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA).
As the implementation phase now starts, WILPF Cameroon has recently benefitted from the exchange of experiences and best practices during the recent WILPF African Regional meeting that took place in Kinshasa (DRC) on 2-3 December. This was an occasion to exchange knowledge and lessons learnt in the implementation of the NAP while leveraging on the advocacy experience of other WILPF Sections for carrying out successful strategies.